March 18, 2014

Final results from the wind tunnel were received, with expected (very good) results! The big news was that our drag (resistance through the air) dropped 7% with the new tail. This is tremendous, as after our first wind tunnel testing we found that we were already below our drag predictions. We did not think we would see that much reduction, but were happy to have that result. Because of the lower drag, we should see an increase in fuel efficiency, and should have an easier time making our speed projections. We also saw a substantial increase in pitch stability – 20% higher than we needed – which is just what we wanted to hear. This will allow us great latitude in handling our center of gravity for best effect in ground mode.

The purpose of the slalom testing and circle (G-force) testing that is currently being done is to establish how fast one might be able to take corners safely. Keeping the center of gravity (the balance point of the vehicle, if you were to balance it on your finger) to the rear as far as possible will enable better cornering and safer handling overall. By our having increased pitch stability as found in our recent wind tunnel testing, we can be free to move the center of gravity (cg) more to the rear to increase safety on the ground and still handle well in the air. Say hello to my little sports car.

The update on the wing construction includes that the right aileron was fabricated last week, and we are moving into the end caps, then the flaps and the flap rib. There is one rib in the flap, as it is quite long. The hinging has been worked out, and drawings for the hinge and assembly drawings for the ailerons and flaps are being done so we can move into assembly of the parts. Thus begins a dance between engineering, molds, parts, fabrication and assembly of the wing parts. That’s just one part of the build process! We should receive our starter and wiring harness this week for the V4 Motus engine, and are looking forward to getting that baby on the dyno to program the engine computers. Also in the works is a weight saving plan for the front suspension arm, and the torsion suspension components. They worked well, so we are now investing in making them lighter.

Hope your week goes well, and may you find your Switchblade at the end of the rainbow!

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